Expanding educational opportunities in Ghana: bilingualism and biliteracy for young learners
NALAP is new in a number of ways: in teaching children to read in a Ghanaian language using Ghanaian language texts; in teaching them to comprehend text, not just remember it; in teaching alphabetic and decoding skills; in teaching English via a communicative approach; in supplying adequate materials; and in using pupil-centered learning strategies. Consequently, training teachers and other educators on NALAP is essential to its success. Training relied on a cascade model. CAL staff designed training for a National Resource Team, who in turn trained district trainers, who trained the early primary teachers. Training focused on introducing the bilingual approach to literacy, the NALAP materials, the components of reading and writing addressed in NALAP, teaching ESL, and the most frequently used instructional strategies. Training activities included lecture, demonstration by the trainers, practice (one teacher practiced teaching a NALAP lesson and others played the role of pupils), and discussion. There was also guided scanning of the teacher guides so that teachers could become well aware of their structure and contents. Trainers developed their own lectures using a collection of background information on the topics to be highlighted in the training.
Another round of training aimed to acquaint tutors at the Colleges of Education with the new biliteracy program for primary schools. Their curriculum will need to change to address the goals of NALAP, but in the meantime the tutors in the Ghanaian language and the English departments need to consider how they might adjust their teaching so that pre-service teachers can be ready for NALAP.
For more information, view the other components of NALAP: